29 Knightrider St, London EC4V 5BH
Now, I am not one for drinking at lunchtime but as my colleagues wanted to buy me a beer before I finished my contract with them I couldn't refuse. There was just a small coterie of us (my immediate team only) and as I was due back at work afterwards I decided to go for a weak session ale or I would have fallen asleep at my desk.
Beers drunk on this visit :
1) IPA (3.6%) - Green King Brewery, Bury St Edmunds, Surrey - an easy drinking session IPA
This beer, along with London Pride and Doom Bar seem to come in for a lot of criticism due to their "blandness". I actually don't mind these beers as they are all easy drinking and not too strong, so if I was out on a big session I could stick to them all night without getting bored due to "lack of taste" (like I would do with lager). I do have a few issues with Doom Bar, but that is more due to a few dodgy pints I have had recently that have put me off it a bit (fault of the pub staff rather than the beers or brewers themselves). I have had a few pints recently that have been back up to the mark though, so my faith is partially restored in this ale.
Greene King have run a few surveys with younger drinkers recently and found that these types of beers are ideal for newcomers to the real ale market. Rebranding of these ales has seen sales of these three beers outstrip most other real ales and as a result real ale sales are now outpacing lager sales, so his cannot be a bad thing. Hopefully these beers will act as feeders to more complex ales in the future and thus keep the British beer and ale market alive. It is good to see that real ale is now attracting younger drinkers, especially young women, who fancy something a bit different to the sweet and cloying alco-pops that are normally aimed at that part of the drinks market.